The biggest game of the year is coming up quickly. If you’re like us, you’re already starting to plan out your spread of party food for the Big Game.
However, it’s also totally normal to feel a little anxiety when it comes to events where indulgent dishes are the stars of the show.
The good news is that there’s absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy some awesome Game Day appetizers and treats.
We consulted one of our expert dietitians to find out what to eat on Game Day. That way, you can enjoy both the food and experience without sacrificing your health goals.
How Do Dietitians Enjoy Football Sunday?
You don’t have to be a huge football fan to enjoy the big game.
In fact, most people like it because of the company and the array of Game Day snacks the day brings.
And here’s a little secret you might not know: Dietitians enjoy eating game-day snacks too!
Registered dietitian Joanna Gregg shared some insight when it comes to eating mindfully while still enjoying the best Game Day food on the table.
How do they view eating and health on this glutinous day?
Gregg says that it’s important to remember that it is just one day. Enjoying it with food isn’t going to unravel all of the progress that you’ve made.
Instead, go about your regular routine of getting in some movement and eating nutritious meals beforehand. Skipping meals will probably result in you being hungrier later. That could mean eating more fried and salty snacks than you planned to.
Instead, look at this day as a chance to cheer on your favorite team. Sample a few delicious appetizers and spend time in the company of friends. Enjoy your favorite Game Day foods! But make it more about the social aspect rather than the snack spread.
What do they recommend for each meal?
Nourishing your body during the day before the game is important. Make smart food choices, and build your meals around foods that have protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
Game Day meals tend to be loaded with foods that you probably wouldn’t consider nourishing, but you shouldn’t skip eating earlier in the day to make up for it, either.
Here are some suggestions that are both smart and satisfying so that you can save room.
1. Breakfast ideas to prepare for the ultimate game
Gregg approaches breakfast the same as she would any other day.
She opts for a nutrient-dense breakfast of two eggs, wheat toast, avocado, cottage cheese, tomatoes, and sautéed spinach. The mix of protein, whole grains, healthy fat and fiber helps her stay full for hours.
Other foods that she recommends are oatmeal or low-fat Greek yogurt sprinkled with nuts and a serving of fruit.
2. Food ideas to enjoy for lunch and dinner
As you start thinking about the kinds of cheese and perfect appetizers that you’re going to eat later, make sure that you make time to eat at least a simple lunch first. Gregg prioritizes protein and complex carbs, especially fruits and veggies, to get in some nutrients and fiber.
A quick lunch that Gregg relies on is easy, pressure cooked shredded chicken, which she always has on hand, paired raw veggies and a carb like rice or sometimes wrapped up in a tortilla.
A simple yet healthy lunch can help you stay on track and feel good about your choices when scoping out the grazing table later.
3. Healthy snack ideas to enjoy the big game
Today might be a day in which you don’t need a snack if you know you’ll be consuming more come game time.
If you do feel hungry, Gregg recommends something wholesome like fruit, nuts, or cottage cheese. The more fiber the better, these high fiber foods will help you feel fuller when munching later on.
You can always volunteer to bring a healthy appetizer or colorful snack to share with the group. There are tons of quick Game Day snacks that have a punch of flavor while still being nutritious. Like skinny 7-layer dip or buffalo cauliflower bites!
Take a Front-Row Seat to Your Health During the Big Football Game
The big game is a once-a-year event that won’t make or break your fitness journey. Be mindful and enjoy what you eat as well as the people you’re with.
Some choose not to track their food on this day, while others keep tracking just as they would normally do. Gregg reminds us that the decision is totally up to you and that you can just get back at it the next day.
Either way, MyFitnessPal makes it easy to track your food, calories, and macros so that you can get real insight into your daily nutrition.
Our comprehensive database has all the types of cheese, savory snacks, and sweet treats that you can expect to see on the Game Day table so that you can track them with ease. Tracking should be simple, and our tools make it easy to do wherever you go.